Coming Soon: November 20th, 2020

Welcome to this week’s edition of Back Lot 605’s Coming Soon column! In the calm before the Thanksgiving weekend storm, we’ve got some oddball VOD and theatrical debuts, plus the continuing tidal wave of Christmas movies and specials! Here’s what’s coming soon for the week of November 20th, 2020:

Featured Title: The LEGO Star Wars Holiday Special

Okay, you got me: This week’s main title is not a movie, per se… as it’s actually a 45-minute Star Wars animated special on Disney+. But let’s be real: We at Back Lot 605 love Star Wars! Like, a lot! And having watched this special last night, I can assure you that it’s a brick-filled love letter to the entire franchise, with tons of gags covering every movie in the series. (Yes, there’s even a Solo: A Star Wars Story joke!)

This special takes place after the events of The Rise of Skywalker… and as the title implies, this new special has some ties to 1978’s infamous The Star Wars Holiday Special, as Rey and the gang prepare to celebrate Life Day on Chewbacca’s home planet of Kashyyyk. In the process, Rey and BB-8 discover a strange key that teleports them across the galaxy – and into major events from The Skywalker Saga! The special’s voice cast includes some Star Wars actors reprising their roles, including Billy Dee Williams, Kelly Marie Tran, and Anthony Daniels. (Premieres Tuesday, November 17th on Disney+.)

Opening in Theaters


With no major studio releases in theaters this week, Jackie Chan’s latest Chinese action movie is getting a nationwide American theatrical release! Jackie plays the head of Vanguard, a security company that is tasked with protecting an accountant from dangerous mercenaries. Globetrotting action ensues, taking our heroes into London, Dubai, and India! This is directed by Stanley Tong, who’s best known for many of the movies that you saw when Jackie Chan was introduced to American audiences in the mid-1990s… including Rumble in the Bronx, Supercop, and First Strike. The movie is being presented in its original audio, which is a mix of English and Mandarin (with English subtitles). (Opening Friday, November 20th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and Century East in Sioux Falls. A special early fan event screening is also being held on Thursday, November 19th.)

Buddy Games

And now, a phrase you probably thought you wouldn’t see: “Directed by Josh Duhamel”! Yes, the Transformers and Las Vegas star makes his directorial debut with this wild and crazy comedy. The movie follows six lifelong friends who reunite after five years to compete in the Buddy Games, a series of physical and mental challenges with a $150,000 grand prize for the victor. The group of friends includes Duhamel, Dax Shepard, Nick Swardson, James Roday Rodriguez, Kevin Dillon, and Dan Bakkedahl; Jensen Ackles and Olivia Munn also star. (Opening Friday, November 20th in theaters nationwide, including the West Mall 7 in Sioux Falls.)

The Last Vermeer

Sony’s contribution to theaters this week is a Guy Pearce courtroom drama! In the aftermath of World War II, a Dutch Jew (Claes Bang) investigating artwork stolen by the Nazis tries to prove the innocence of a wealthy socialite (Guy Pearce) who’s accused of collaborating with Nazis. Phantom Thread‘s Vicky Krieps also stars, as Bang’s loyal assistant. (Opening Friday, November 20th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 in Sioux Falls.)

New to Streaming and VOD


Next, Hulu has a new thriller from Aneesh Chaganty, who broke out on the film scene in the summer of 2018 with the excellent John Cho “screen life” mystery Searching. His follow-up film centers on a wheelchair-bound, homeschooled teen (Kiera Allen, an actual wheelchair-using actress), who learns that her controlling mother (Sarah Paulson) has been hiding a secret from her. Prior to the pandemic, Lionsgate was planning to release this in theaters on Mother’s Day weekend of this year. But Hulu has since bought this movie, as part of a series of acquisitions of big-screen fare… and we’ll have another such Hulu movie to talk about next week! (Premieres Friday, November 20th on Hulu.)

Jiu Jitsu

What happens when you mix Predator, martial arts fighting, and various scenes of Nic Cage delivering convoluted exposition? Well, you get… whatever this movie is, about an ancient order of fighters who take on a race of alien visitors! Frank Grillo and Tony Jaa co-star, so you know the action’s gonna be good! Directed by Dimitri Logothetis, who’s best known for the most recent installment in the Kickboxer franchise, 2018’s Kickboxer: Retaliation. (Premieres Friday, November 20th on VOD services.)

Iron Mask

No, you’re not mistaken: We have TWO new Jackie Chan movies coming out the week! This is a very loose remake of The Man in the Iron Mask, which stars Jackie as a kung fu master, and Arnold Schwarzenegger as… Captain James Hook?!? Also starring Jason Flyming and, in one of his last roles, the late Rutger Hauer. (Premieres Friday, November 20th on VOD services.)


You know, we never cover Showtime in Coming Soon, because they rarely have new original movie content to discuss. But this weekend, they are putting out a new documentary on the brief life of comedy legend John Belushi! The film covers everything from his time on Saturday Night Live to his roles in such comedies as Animal House and The Blues Brothers… and his drug addiction that ultimately led to his tragic death at the age of 33. Directed by R.J. Cutler (The September Issue, If I Stay), this documentary contains no talkings heads; instead, all you see on-screen is archival Belushi footage and photos, plus handwritten letters from Belushi to his wife Judith, while the audio comes from interviews conducted for a 2012 biography book. (Premieres Sunday, November 22nd on Showtime.)

The Princess Switch 2: Switched Again

The Netflix Christmas movie onslaught is wrapping up this week, with two new holiday flicks. First, we have the sequel to Netflix’s 2018 holiday rom-com, in which Vanessa Hudgens played both the duchess of the fictional country of Belgravia, and her lookalike, a Chicago baker, who switched places to experience how the other half lives. As the title implies, the sequel is built upon them switching places again to resolve romantic loose ends… only for complications to arise with the arrival of a third lookalike, the party-hearty Lady Fiona (played by Hudgens in a blond wig), who gets the idea to seize Margaret’s throne. (Premieres Thursday, November 19th on Netflix.)

Dolly Parton’s Christmas on the Square

The final Christmas movie on the Netflix slate comes to us from singer, actress, and newly-announced Moderna COVID-19 vaccine research funder Dolly Parton, who wrote 14 new songs for her latest holiday movie. Christine Baranski stars as an evil businesswoman who returns to her small hometown to evict everyone before Christmas so she can sell the land to a mall developer. But will the town’s citizens ultimately change her heart and save their homes? Hmm, I wonder what will happen… 🙂 (Premieres Sunday, November 22nd on Netflix.)

Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist

Finally, we have this week’s Shudder premiere, and it’s an exciting one for film fans! Acclaimed director William Friedkin sits down for a feature-length discussion on his 1973 horror classic The Exorcist. And that’s literally the entire movie: just Friedkin on-screen, talking for 104 minutes! This comes to us from director Alexandre O. Philippe, whose other recent movie documentaries include 78/52: Hitchcock’s Shower Scene and Memory: The Origins of Alien. (Premieres Thursday, November 19th on Shudder.)

Returning to Theaters

The Santa Clause

This week’s Disney theatrical re-release is the 1994 holiday comedy classic, starring Tim Allen at the height of his Home Improvement popularity (and which begat two sequels in 2002 and 2006). Also starring Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson, and David Krumholtz. (Opens Friday, November 20th in theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and Century East in Sioux Falls.)


Finally, we have a special TCM/Fathom Events holiday presentation of the 1982 movie musical Annie, starring Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, Tim Curry, and Bernadette Peters, and directed by the one and only John Huston! (And yes, this is not to be confused with the 2014 Jamie Foxx/Cameron Diaz modern-day remake!) (Playing Sunday, November 22nd and Monday, November 23rd in select theaters nationwide, including the Century Stadium 14 and Century East in Sioux Falls.)

Plan 9 from Outer Space Watch-Along!

Hot on the heels of last month’s watch-along of the original House on Haunted Hill, Slash Lot 605’s monthly watch-along series continues on with the infamous “worst movie of all time”, Ed Wood’s 1957 sci-fi flick Plan 9 from Outer Space, starring Bela Lugosi (or his chiropractor double), Tor Johnson, Vampira, Lyle Talbot, and Criswell as the narrator. For more information, check out the Facebook page for this event!

New This Week to Blu-ray and 4K

  • The New Mutants (2020) (available on 4K Blu-ray!)
  • Unhinged (2020)
  • The Broken Hearts Gallery (2020)
  • Words on Bathroom Walls (2020)
  • The Resident Evil Collection (2004-2017) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)
  • Weathering with You (2019) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)
  • The Croods (2013) (new to 4K Blu-ray!)
  • Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999) (new to The Criterion Collection!)
  • Moonstruck (1987) (new to The Criterion Collection!)
  • Twins (1987) (finally available on Blu-ray!)

Older Movies New to Streaming


  • Machete Kills (2013) (premieres Sunday, November 22nd)
  • Hard Kill (2020) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)


  • Amulet (2020) (premieres Saturday, November 19th)
  • Tesla (2020) (premieres Friday, November 20th)
  • Most Wanted (2020) (premieres Saturday, November 21st)

Amazon Prime:

  • Most Wanted (2020) (premieres Saturday, November 21st)


  • Black Sunday (1960) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • Black Sabbath (1963) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • The Girl Who Knew Too Much (1963) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • The Whip and the Body (1963) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • Kill, Baby… Kill! (1966) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • A Bay of Blood (1971) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • Lisa and the Devil (1973) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)
  • Shock (1977) (premieres Monday, November 23rd)


  • Home Alone (1990) (premiered Friday, November 13th)
  • Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) (premiered Friday, November 13th)
  • Home Alone 3 (1997) (premiered Friday, November 13th)
  • Planes (2013) (premiered Friday, November 20th)
  • Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014) (premiered Friday, November 20th)

HBO Max:

  • Underwater (2020) (premieres Saturday, November 21st)

The Criterion Channel:

  • Thursday, November 19th: Three by Nadav Lapid – Policeman (2011), The Kindergarten Teacher (2014), Synonyms (2019)
  • Thursday, November 19th: Criterion Collection Edition #698: King of the Hill (1993)
  • Friday, November 20th: Double Feature: Domestic Disturbances – Faces (1968), Deathdream (1974)
  • Saturday, November 21st: Saturday Matinee – Swallows and Amazons (1974)
  • Sunday, November 22nd: Queersighted: Queer Fear – The Old Dark House (1932), The Black Cat (1934), The Seventh Victim (1943), The Uninvited (1944), The Picture of Dorian Gray (1945), Diabolique (1955), The Haunting (1963), Daughters of Darkness (1971), Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), Hellraiser (1987), Stranger by the Lake (2013), Always Shine (2016)
  • Monday, November 23rd: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness (2013)
  • Tuesday, November 24th: Short + Feature: In Rave Danger – Acid Rain (2019), Victoria (2015)
  • Wednesday, November 25th: Directed by Ashley McKenzie – Stray (2013), 4 Quarters (2015), Werewolf (2016)

The Shameless Plugs

Check out the Back Lot 605 Podcast Network on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play, and YouTube. Follow us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Check out our movie friends Fat Dude Digs Flicks and Somewhat Random Movie Collection for some awesome reviews and movie insights! Check out every episode of the Back Lot 605 Podcast and the Killer Countdown!

About the Author
Derrick Veurink has been consuming anything and everything movie-related since he was 5, and is an encyclopedic fount of random movie information. He is an avid physical media supporter, and sees nearly every major theatrical release. (Yes, even "Playmobil: The Movie".)
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